August 2014 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

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August 29, 2014

Notary Information for Beginners – Best Posts


What is a Notary Public?

What makes a mobile notary a mobile notary?

Notary Journals from A to Z

Everything you need to know about journals

Identification requirements for being notarized

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage

Become a Notary

Notary Oath of Office information

Notary Acts

What is a Jurat?

Everything you need to know about Acknowledgments!

Optional info on Acknowledgment Certificates

Information about various notary procedures

Interesting and uncommon notary acts

Additional Info

Industry standards in the notary business

Fraud and forgery related to the notary profession

Which states allow e-notarizations?

Notarizing your foreign language document!


August 25, 2014

Notary Pick Up Lines Part 1

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 10:39 am

Here are some great notary pick up lines, just in case you ever join a notary dating site.

What’s your sign?
Can I buy you a journal?
So, do you stamp here often?
That’s a nice embosser, is it gold, or gold plated?
Do you shake hands, or shake right thumbprints on the first date?
My signing or yours?
Should we do the signing at my house, your house, or at a Starbucks?
Are you into backdating?
What’s the weirdest ID you ever saw?
I would shake hands, but I can’t because I have a bad case of Notorial Sclerosis.
I just got my expiration date extended, what about you?
Is your APR higher than your rate?
Have you ever hired two notaries at the same time?
Gee, I just love this venue, wonder what county we’re in!
Do you think you could personally appear before me?
I had to initial a form before I could get an open tab!
So, you have ever exercised your right to cancel on a date?
There was a long line at the Fedex station this evening — what a night!
Don’t you hate it when the signer has a middle initial they never told you about?
So, are you a member of A certified member?

Also see:

Notary Pick Up Lines 2

Jane the Virgin Notary


August 24, 2014

New Notary Apps that you really need!

The entire world has gone app crazy in the last few years. Personally, I use GPS, and my alarm clock. That’s about it for me in terms of apps. But, what types of apps might notaries need to stay ahead?

(1) Look up signing company reviews.
123notary already has this for i-phones. It is a page, not an app, but what is the difference right?

(2) Find a cheap gas station
Google already does this. Just visit and look up “cheap gas” or “gas prices” and then add your zip code. Or enter your city name and gas prices for a better selection if you live in a big city.
You can also use

(3) Billing applications?
Very few notaries use sophisticated technology to know who owes them what and for how long. But, there are companies out there who have billing applications that you can see at a glance who owes you what and who to invoice. Is it worth it? You tell us!

(4) Road condition apps.
There are GPS systems that tell you which route to your destination is faster under current situations. Such technology has cleaned up traffic congestion in many cities around the world. If you have technology that tells you how to avoid traffic, you could save an hour per day every day! That would be worth paying a bundle.

(5) Translation apps (risky)
The notary is supposed to be skilled in whatever language they use at a signing. If you look up words in an application, you might screw up and the signer might understand you incorrectly or not at all. Words sometimes have multiple translations. “Do you swear to tell the truth” could translate into “Will you marry me” if you miss a subtle nuance in certain languages. But, for those who are app crazy, you are apt to get one anyway. So, go for it! SayHi Translate can do this by the way!

(6) Mileage log apps for the IRS
The IRS may request to see your trip logs. If it is digital, that might be good, unless it is hard to download, print, or gets accidentally compromised. But, paper records can get lost too, so which way is safer? You can keep track of your miles using your i-phone if you have an app for that. I don’t know of any app like that, but they probably exist as probably 50 million Americans deduct mileage for one reason or another.

(7) eJournal applications?
These exist. You need to be an eNotary to use one. Out of 7000 notaries on our site, I’m sure there are a good three or four of you who are commissioned eNotaries.

(8) iSchedule
You guessed it. This app will manage your busy schedule. You can input all your appointments with this app and all is well until you go into a dead zone or run out of battery.

(9) TurboScan
Quickly scan multipage documents into high-quality PDF’s. Wow! Sounds like a winner for companies who want fax-backs.

(10) Documents Free (Mobile Office Suite)
Not sure what this does, but you can read up on it.

(11) Contacts <-> Excel
I think we all know what this is for.

(12) UPS Mobile
Ship your packages using your i-phone, and hopefully a UPS box. You might need a printer too.

And last but not least… (and appropriately numbered)

(13) Ghost Hunters Haunted House Finder
Find a haunted house near you. Or use it to look up your signings. If one of your signings is in an officially haunted house, suggest that you all meet at Starbucks. Use your Starbucks finder app to get there!

(14) Page Separator Pro
Split those legal and letter sized pieces of paper. Even some dual tray printers don’t have the ability to figure out which tray prints what, and why…

You might also like:

Choosing a name for your business license


August 20, 2014

If movie reviews get one to four stars, why not notary reviews?

My comedy writer came up with blog entry ideas. He is a very funny guy. He will think in deep concentration for twenty minutes crafting the exact wording of a joke. So, he came up with the idea of giving notaries stars in their reviews.

If you don’t have reviews… How to get reviews…
In my opinion, if a notary doesn’t have any reviews after being on for a year, perhaps they are not the best notary in the world. What I learned, is if you don’t ask for reviews, you won’t get any, unless you are really amazing. So, how do you distinguish between notaries who get reviews organically, and those who pester everyone in site for a review? You can’t.

Imagine if 123notary gave stars for notary reviews.
If a reviewer really likes a notary, they could award the notary several stars. Once again, in my opinion if you have five or more reviews, you are in the top 1% of notaries on, and that speaks for itself. But, what if you have a legitimate review from a Title company? It is hard as hell to get a Title review! In fact, for every twenty reviews on, there is less than one Title review. Title companies are bombarded with requests for reviews, and they will only write one if they love you or hate you. Believe me they have to love you more than the other three hundred notaries who pestered them recently!

What would notaries think?
In real life, if certain notaries got stars, and others didn’t, there would be rivalry and jealousy. A notary has a lot of control as to whether or not they have our certification, but how much control do they have.

“How come Carol got four stars, but I only got three?”
I can just hear it now. Another nightmare that would make the SPW drama seem like a walk in the park!

The truth is, if the reviewer doesn’t think you are worth three or four stars, they probably wouldn’t be writing the review for you in the first place! So, if you have a review, it is worth four stars in my book. After all, what is someone going to do, write a review about you saying that you were just okay, adequate — “She did her job well, but it was nothing special?” If you are that dull, not so many people will write a review about you.

Ending tip:
If you want reviews, go out of your way to be the most educated and pleasant notary in your state. Arrive on time, dress well, smell good, be pleasant, don’t discuss politics (unless you are bar tender notary) and study up so you can give informative answers to any questions that they might have (not including legal questions which should be referred to an attorney.) Good luck!

(1) Imagine if 123notary make it possible for those writing reviews to give you three or four stars?
(2) If you have five or more reviews on your notary profile, you are in the top 1% of notaries in terms of quality!
(3) Another drama that would make the SPW drama seem like a walk in the park!
(4) If you want reviews: arrive on time, dress well, smell good, be pleasant, answer questions thoroughly, and for god’s sake don’t discuss politics!


August 18, 2014

Grow your business first, and THEN do the official stuff?

This was a reply to my post about getting a business license. It is illegal to operate a business without a business license. If you claim a business name without having it registered, you could get into legal trouble (gulp.)

But, should you see if your business “takes” before investing in formalities? That is what many of us small potatoes do. I started several businesses without registering them. I started in business when I was a 14 year old kid doing landscaping for my neighbors.

If you are committed to doing business, invest in supplies, commissions, etc., then you are committed enough to obey the law and get a business license. The total costs are less than $100 including the newspaper fees for publishing your business name officially.

As they say in the sneaker industry — just do it!

(1) should you see if your business “takes” before investing in formalities like getting a biz license?

You might also like:

Choosing a name for your business license

Registering your business license


August 17, 2014

Why do new notaries go to “sites” to get answers to questions?

I have been reading some of the various sites lately like Linkedin, etc and it just amazes me how many new notaries go to these sites to ask other folks notary questions from people that may or may not be in their state, or my not even be seasoned enough to give an acurate answer. Why not try reading your notary handbook or calling your Secretary of State. After all they are in most cases the folks that issue the commissions and make the rules that you need to follow.

Then there are questions about what to ‘look for’ in a trust signing, POA, etc. People remember you are there not to interpret or read documents. You are there to verify signature and identity. And the following will apply: The person must have current government issued identification Make sure there is no duress or influences from others for a person to sign. They must not be on any mind altering medication, and there should be no blank spaces. And naturally, they should have ability to pay you if you are charging a fee. Remember, don’t analyze just notarize. We notarize signatures on documents not the documents themselves.

People remember, in most cases the best place to get your questions answered is from the source….the people that hired you!

Until next time, be safe ~Carmen

(1) Don’t analyze: Notarize; We notarize signatures, not the documents themselves!
(2) Don’t visit private agency websites for answers to notary questions. Go to your Secretary of State!

You might also like:

Industry standards in the notary business


August 16, 2014

Double Check in Reverse

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 7:12 am

Double Check in Reverse
For about a quarter of this century I worked for a large brokerage house, the one with the pet bull; btw: its name is Native Texan (not commonly known). I installed and maintained large networks. Seriously large amounts of money transversed those networks. One key component was the Routing Table which decided what transactions go where. It had to be perfect.

But, to look at it was, in a word dull. Actually mind numbing; scores of very similar entries with slight differences. But each was essential to proper routing. It was there I learned the secret to proper checking of my maintenance work. I learned to read, and double check my work, backwards. Numbers were verified from right to left, never left to right.

I apply the same concept to reviewing a loose ack. I start from the bottom right of the form and work my way left to the margin. Then up a line and repeat the procedure. Why? Your eyes may be different, but mine tend to want to glide along from left to right, the way you are now reading this blog entry. But when proofreads, I always go in reverse.

Reverse processing slows you down, it’s more difficult for the eye to find the next field to be examined. You have to “jump over” the item you just inspected, a built in extra look. As your eye moves right to left, then up from the bottom; you are forced to go much slower. There is no chance for the smooth “scan” as in normal reading. You force yourself to find details that a normal read might miss. Yes, it’s tedious and takes more time. Speaking of time….

An additional technique is to look at your watch when you start to proofread. After you have used this technique a few times you will have a feel for how long it should take to do a very thorough proofreading. Make a mental note of your start time. When you are done, determine how many minutes you spent proofreading. If you estimated ten minutes and finished in four; chances are that you did a poor job, and glossed over some aspects of the work. As a rule of thumb it takes about 25% of the time to verify (because you are not writing) compared to making the actual entries on the pages.

Initially you will find this procedure strange, awkward and uncomfortable. Remember when you were learning to drive a standard transmission car? Brake, shifter, clutch, gas petal, steering wheel, all had to be operated almost concurrently and smoothly. Stick with it – it will become second nature and the skills mastered will serve you well as you check items other than notary work.
A true verification master takes the concept one step further. They verify the package from back to front! It actually makes a lot of sense. For example: you first see the notarization on the last page; so you know the names, subsequently you look for the initials of the persons notarized. A world class “checker” will operate in both forward and reverse; for both the details and the entire package!

It’s strange and new to process in reverse. Don’t give up too quickly. Force yourself after your normal checking to try finding an “oops” using the reverse technique. Scan each line left to right looking for that middle of the page, almost hidden initial block. If it’s there reverse will find it!

(1) Use the reverse checking technique to double check your loan packages!


Signing Co Saturday: Select gossip of the week

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — admin @ 12:01 am

Here is some interesting gossip about signing companies that should be fun to read.

Select Signings
The notary was informed verbally that would be no fax backs. But, the written instructions stated that all documents were to be faxed back. The next problem was that the borrower was assigned responsibility for paying for the signing. That is a very bad sign right there.

Accurate National Signing Service
There is a vibrant discussion here about how one notary is going to be filing papers with the DA’s office. Several notaries claim they are owed money by an individual who is allegedly associated with this company.

WFG National Title Insurance Company
The signings were all over 200 pages. Each time, the notary was assured they would get extra compensation because of the size of the package. The notary claimed that he needed to wait for a response about extra fee from a higher up, but that they kept you waiting until right before the signing to get that confirmation of extra fees. The notary tried calling, but couldn’t get through. The only thought that runs through my head is, what would Ken do? Have them paypal the funds in advance?

Global Notary
A notary was informed that there would be a 20 page fax back. However, upon arrival of the documents, the fax back was nearly fifty pages and 374 pages for all of the printing involved. Maybe it is time to have written agreements. I charge $75 for up to 150 pages per package for two package, and will include 20 pages of fax backs. If there are more fax backs required, I charge an extra $1 per page paid in advance!
The documents never came. But, several text messages came stating that the notary’s fees would be docked if they didn’t get the borrower to sign!

Speedy Closings
This notary charges 1% extra for each day after 31 days not paid and charges a $2 paypal fee as well. “Don’t be nice about it, you should get your check.”

C Viana & Associates
Docs will be there within 15 minutes and payment within 30 days. That is what was promised, but it took over an hour for the docs, and as time went on, payment got later and later according to one of the notaries on our forum.

You might also like:

Witnessing intake forms for Notary Heaven

Welcome to the Notary Hotel


August 15, 2014

What does the Owl icon mean?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:35 am

Many people on 123notary don’t understand our icons. They think that the 24 hour icon means that they close up shop at 7pm, but that you can contact them 24 hours a day, providing that it is before 7pm. That is not how we look at it. We have people with hours from 8am to 7pm who ask for the 24 hour notary icon. Seriously people, are you even maintaining your listings? We don’t like people whose hours are “open” or “flexible” or who are available “anytime,” because those words mean something different to everyone. Some people are open anytime, but close up shop at 5pm nightly, while others who are “flexible” are open until 9pm. We want the hard data. When do you start being available for annoying phone calls and when do you stop — in general, in numerical form.

If you are willing to receive phone calls at 3am, then you merit the 24 hour icon, if not, then you don’t. But, what about the owl icon? Who, or should I say, “hoo” merits that?

Here are our liberal qualifications for meriting the owl icon on

(1) Being available for phone calls until at least 10:30pm nightly and
(2) Saying “hoo” frequently
(3) Feathers (optional)

(1) Having the OWL icon on 123notary means you take phone calls until 10:30pm or later & say “Hoo” regularly!
(2) If you are kind of 24 hours, but not exactly, consider getting the owl icon on & say “Hoo”


August 13, 2014

Notary Nook — a fast food restaurant for notaries

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:37 am

Drive-Thru Notary

The signer drives up to the drive-thru window at Notary Nook, where there is a giant hand with a menu and a microphone in the middle.

Welcome to Notary Nook
Girl: “Welcome to Notary Nook, may I take your order?”
Signer: “Yes, I’d like large acknowledgement.”
Girl: “You have a lovely voice!”
Signer: “No, not that type of acknowledgment!”
Girl: “One large acknowledgment coming up, would you like veri-fries with that?”
Signer: “Can you verify what a veri-fry is please?”
Girl: “Sorry, I can’t hear you, can you speak louder?”

Talk to the hand…
Girl: “Can you please back your car up. You are very far from the microphone. Talk to the hand!”
Signer: “Can you verify what that is?”
Girl: “A veri-fry is a fry that has been authenticated by one of our Apostilles”
Signer: “Oh, I thought an Apostille was a type of authentication.”
Girl: “In real life it is, but at our place, we call an authenticator an Apostille.
Signer: “Can I also get a small order of certi-fries from the value menu?”
Girl: “That’s a lot of fries! We need you to swear under Oath that you’re really hungry.”
Signer: “I swear it, so help me god! (belch)”
Girl: “I heard a belch, it sounds like you already had something to drink and perhaps eat. It looks like you just committed what we call Drive-Thru Notary Perjury!”
Signer: “Actually, I just had a beer, and now I need some solid food in me!”

Please sign the journal
Girl: “Please drive up to the window and sign the journal.”
Signer: “Okay, I’ll sign right here.”
Girl: “Can you let me see the document that you are acknowledging?”
Signer: “Can you promise me you won’t acknowledge this document with a huge grease stain?”
Girl: “You’re safer with an electronic signature. If you get a digital signature, we only use digital grease!”
Signer: “I’ll stick with a paper signature & acknowledgment. Let’s do the notary work first, and get my document back in the folder before you hand over the certi-fries and veri-fries.
Girl: “All ready. Here is your Acknowledgment. Would you like to get two blue pens for an additional 25 cents?”
Signer: “I swear I don’t. By the way, your dumpster is infested with JuRats!”
Girl: “Here are your fries sir. Please visit our other restaurants. We have a New England seafood restaurant called The Rusty Embosser. We have a fondue restaurant called, The Leaky Seal. And for Notorial fried chicken, try Journal Sanders.”

(1) Notary fast food items: Veri-fries, Certi-fries, Notorial friend chicken at Journal Sanders!
(2) Notary Value Menu: Veri-fries $1 — authenticated by one of our in-house Apostilles!
(3) Welcome to Notary Nook, may I take your order?

You might also like:

Welcome to the Notary Hotel

A date leads to a Notary restaurant called Le Jurat!

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